FONI BINTANG KARANAI DISTRICT REHAB TOUR, WEST COAST REGION, THE GAMBIA 

FONI BINTANG KARANAI DISTRICT REHAB TOUR, WEST COAST REGION, THE GAMBIA 

FONI BINTANG KARANAI DISTRICT REHAB TOUR, WEST COAST REGION, THE GAMBIA 

Foni Bintang-Karenai is one of the nine districts of the Gambia’s West Coast Region, which is located on the south of the Gambia River in the southwest of the country. Foni Bintang-Karenai is in the central south of the Region, between Foni Kansala and Foni Brefet. This district is dominated by the Jola tribe and some Fula as well as Mandinka tribes. The vast majority of people in the district are subsistence farmers, growing groundnut, maize and millet with some communities notably women engaged in collecting and selling wild herbs for traditional medicinal purposes. Herbs locally called “Mborr Mborr, Kinkiliba and sangfito” are commonly associated with this district. It still keeps traditional tribal culture and it also served as a source of typical Jola and Mandinka tribe history and traditional way of life. The district is also the home of an old Mandinka love poem called “Masannehsisay Bintang Bolong daala”. This love poem was played by the local griots of the district called “Jali” depicting the love life of a powerful man believed to possess mystic powers and a woman from a lower inferior caste possessed by evil.

However, the district is prone to illegal deforestation, especially in rosewood among others. The area is also prone to wildfires and as a result, this has led to the scarcity of fresh drinking water. According to Global Forest Watch reports, in 2010, the district had 243ha of tree cover, extending over 1.7% of its land area. In 2021, it lost 225mha of tree cover, equivalent to 76.5t of CO2 emissions. In Foni Bintang Karanai District, the peak fire season typically begins in mid-February and lasts around 12 weeks. All these factors have made life harder for the indigenous tribes that live within the district especially when it comes to clean drinking water. The district also borders with the Senegalese region of Cassamance which has been the center of separatist rebel conflict for four decades. As a result, it hosts hundreds of refugees which added more stress to the already alarming clean water crisis the district faces. The border between Casamance and The Gambia is long and porous. There are no official border crossings and people move from one side to the other with little restriction. Border communities are historically interlinked, most notably through inter-marriage, and have been partaking in the same social norms and customs since pre-colonial times. The influx of refugees earlier this year has made the water crisis worst in the district. Although a huge chunk of the refugees has gone back since the tensions have eased, but clean drinking water scarcity still remains to hunt communities. 

This rehabilitation tour will provide access to clean drinking water for thousands of people directly. It will have a great impact on their health and social habitation in general. It will tremendously benefit women and girls as they bear the brunt of water collection within the household. It will make girls enrich their potential at school and also help women enrich their potential socially and economically especially at the household level, as at the moment they spend a huge amount of time in water collection daily. It will also forge harmony and understanding among members of communities, as at times quarrels and scuffles occur during water collection. 

1. BATABUT KANTORA VILLAGE 

GPS: N13°12.375 W016°09.524 

Population: 550 

2 Conversion heads, 2 new cylinders (twin pump), 8 centralizers, 2 stainless steel pipes, hand washing station, the contractor will construct a new water trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically. 

Batabut Kantora village is located along the Trans-Gambia South Bank Road. It is a Mandinka tribe community of roughly 550 people. It is a subsistence farming community growing groundnut and millet. According to sources, the community consists of the “Bujiran Kailandang” clan who hailed from the “Koringolu” of the ancient Kaabu Kingdom in the 18th century. 

The community is facing a severe water crisis as it’s population cannot cope with the only water source available. 

2. GIBANACK VILLAGE 

GPS: N13°12.876 W016°08.376  

Population: 180 

1 conversion, 1 cylinder, 1 stainless steel pipe, hand washing station. The contractor will construct a new trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically  

Gibanack village is located about 2 km north of Arangallen Village along the Trans-Gambia South Bank Road. The community is primarily made up of the Manjago tribe who originally migrated from Guinea Bissau during the PIGC war for independence from Portugal. The community is a subsistence farming community, growing millet, corn and groundnut with a handful of them engaged in fishing tilapia along the banks of The River Gambia. The only water source in the community has been broken for a long time and they currently depend on neighboring villages like Arangallen for water, which has resulted in a severe water crisis for the community. 

3. JAKO VILLAGE 

GPS: N13°13.698 W016°10.431 

Population: 350 

2 New cylinders, 2 conversion heads (twin pumps), 2 stainless steel pipes, dewatering and sanitizing the well, plus a hand washing station. The contractor will construct a new trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically 

This village is about 4 km north of Sibanor along the Trans-Gambia south bank road. It is a Jola and Mandinka tribe community. The community depends on subsistence farming mainly growing groundnut, millet, and corn. The community is also known for the collection of traditional medicinal healing herbs in the bush which women notably sell for livelihood. The community’s only water source is broken and as a result it is facing water crisis for a long time. People travel about miles daily to neighboring villages in search of clean drinking water for their families. 

4. MANYINA VILLAGE 

GPS: N13°12.495 W016°12.312 

Population: 400  

1 Conversion head, new cylinder, 2 stainless steel pipes, re-digging the well extra 2 meters, de-watering and sanitizing well, hand washing station, new concrete slab. The contractor will construct a new water trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically. 

Manyina Village is located along the Trans-Gambia South Bank Road. It is quite close to Sibanor. It is Mandinka tribe settlement and a subsistence farming community growing millet, rice and groundnut with a handful of women engaged in collecting medicinal herbs in the bush for economic gains. The community is faced with a water crisis. It has only one handpump serving the entire village and as a result of the high pressure it keeps breaking down due to poor standard parts and repair. This makes the villagers to depend on their neighboring village of Sibanor which is often not accepted by the Sibanor community.  

5. KABOKORR VILLAGE 

GPS: N13°22.274 W016°14.998 

Population: 750 

New cylinder, conversion head, dewatering and sanitizing well, 2 meters re-digging, rod couplings. 6 stainless steel pipes, 6 centralizers, and hand washing station, the contractor will construct a new trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically  

Kabokorr village is situated east of Tampoto, and west of Killy Village along the Trans-Gambia South Bank Road. The community consists of Jola and Mandinka tribes living harmoniously together. The community is a subsistence farming community, growing groundnut, millet, and rice. Rice remains the most commonly grown food in the community, especially among women who sell the proceeds for the sustenance of their families and certain social functions. The Village has been suffering from a lack of clean drinking water due to a large number of people within the community, especially during the rainy season when their open wells got damaged by rain runoff. The current water source is not enough to serve the entire village. 

6. KANUMA VILLAGE 

GPS: N13°13.822 W016°16.441 

Population: 400 

1 Conversion head, 1 new cylinder, check-nuts, rod couplings, 5 centralizers, hand washing station, the contractor will construct a new water trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically. 

Kanuma Village is located about 5 km north of Tampoto along the Trans-Gambia South Bank Road. It is a Mandinka tribe community of roughly 400 people. They are the descendants of the Biyayi clan who migrated from the ancient Kaabu Kingdom. The village is a historical place for several Manneh, Sanneh and Sanyang families. The community is a subsistence farming community growing groundnut, millet and corn. It is well known for producing traditional farming implements like “doumo and kobirango”. The community’s water source has broken down for a long while now, as a result, the community is currently depending on neighboring villages of Nyangit for water, which is about 2 kilometers away and they are often given a frown face there anytime they come collecting water. This has often resulted in scuffles and quarrels between the two neighboring communities. 

7. BUNIADOU VILLAGE 

GPS: N13°12.051 W016°11.822 

Population: 250 

1 conversion, 3 meters extra re-digging, 3 culverts, dewatering and sanitizing the well, ground concrete fortification, concrete slab, 1 stainless steel pipe, hand washing station. The contractor will construct a new trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically  

Buniadou village is located on the outskirts of Sibanor along the Trans-Gambia South Bank Road. It is a Fula tribe community that migrated from the East of the country in search of pasture and better life. The community is a subsistence farming community growing groundnut, millet, and rearing of animals notably cows for sustenance. The community has only one water source which has been broken for a long time and they currently depend on Sibanor and other open wells for drinking. This water crisis has led to illness among the community members as some of them consume contaminated open well waters. 

8. KILLY VILLAGE 

GPS: N13°12.422 W016°13.942 

Population: 950 

New cylinder, 1 conversion head, rod couplings (stainless steel), dewatering and sanitizing the well, plus hand washing station. The contractor will construct a new trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically 

Killy village is located along the Trans-Gambia south bank road. The community consists of the Jola and Mandinka tribes. The community depends on subsistence farming mainly growing groundnut, millet, and corn. Women also collect traditional medicinal herbs from the bush and usually sell them at weekly markets called “Loumo”. This helps in household sustenance and other social activities. The community is facing a severe water crisis as the current water source is not enough for the community leading to so many households depending on contaminated open wells which have serious health effects on their health. The refugee crisis earlier in the year when war broke out in the Cassamance, also put a heavy burden on the community’s water issue. 

9. BAJAGAR VILLAGE 

GPS: N13°12.054 W016°07.259 

Population: 700  

2 Conversion heads, 2 new cylinders, concrete slab, de-watering and sanitizing well, hand washing station, new concrete slab. The contractor will construct a new water trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically. 

Bajagar is the last village within the Foni Bintang Karanai district bordering Foni Kansala District. It is located along the Trans-Gambia South Bank Road. The community has tremendous history and culture, especially among the Jola tribesmen. The traditional Jola initiation festival called “Futampaf’’ is also popular in this village dating back centuries ago. The community is faced with a water crisis as the current water source is not enough. This has led to many people using contaminated open wells which has detrimental health effects. The recent rainy season has caused the collapse of wells due to heavy downpours and erosion.

10. BATENDENG VILLAGE 

GPS: N13°15.358 W016°18.927 

Population: 350 

1 New cylinder, 1 conversion head, dewatering and sanitizing well, rod couplings. 1 stainless steel pipe, 6 centralizers, hand washing station, the contractor will construct a new trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically  

This Village is located about 8km north of Somita Village along the Trans-Gambia South Bank Road. The community is a Mandinka tribe settlement. It is a remote community and a subsistence farming one as well, growing groundnut, millet, and corn. The Village has been suffering from a lack of water since its water source has been broken for a long time. As a result, the community sorted to using open wells which makes some people sick, especially among women and children. This has affected their daily life too.

Handwashing and Hygiene Program – Togo

Handwashing and Hygiene Program – Togo

Handwashing and Hygiene Program – Togo

This is a sub-program of our Water for Everyone Initiative – Liberia, Togo and The Gambia

COVID-19 is spreading in Togo.  The conditions are ripe for an outbreak, with close social contact, little knowledge and understanding about health and hygiene, and no consistent handwashing protocol.

Our Water for Everyone Program is designed to bring access to safe water to everyone in Togo.  We make every effort to stay on mission and work consistently toward our lofty objectives, even when we encounter other urgent needs arising from poverty.  It was always our intention to bring along other partners to work in other program areas, such as sanitation, public health, food security, education, and employment.  However, the virus has emerged as a force to be immediately reckoned with which confronts us with life-and-death consequences which could dwarf other issues in comparison.

Frequent washing of hands in the proper manner for about 20 seconds has proven to be one of the most effective methods to slow down the spread of the virus.  New facilities are urgently needed to make this practical in Togo.  This solution is relatively inexpensive and can be deployed at once.

Consequently, we have begun a program to provide needed handwashing facilities and extensive training in hygiene and health in two regions.  We’re starting in the Plateaux Region, working with our partner AVIDI, Association de Volontariat International pour le Développement Intégral AU Togo (roughly translated as Association of International Volunteering for Integral Development in Togo). AVIDI has been a vital partner of Water Charity, conducting half of our assessments of the water needs of the Plateaux Region.

Our work has started in the Kloto Prefecture of the Plateaux Region.  We have targeted 32 communities with about 90,000 people, and will begin to address their needs one-by-one, to the full extent of our resources.

Handwashing stations will be fabricated and placed in public places. Each standard unit consists of a durable steel frame, a soap dispensing mechanism, and a plastic barrel with a valve.  Provisions for runoff are made with channeling and gravel.  In addition, a multi-unit solution to serve more people at a time can consist of one elevated water supply barrel plus several wastewater barrels over which hand washing takes place.

Each installation will be accompanied by health and hygiene training of the leaders and other occupants of the village to outline how germs are transmitted, the reduction in illness by proper practices, and the appropriate handwashing protocol.

The second part of this program will be conducted directly by the Water Charity team in the Maritime Region.  This team of young professionals has proven their competency in conducting the assessment throughout the country.  They remain cohesive, focused, dedicated, and committed to their country, and have been tooling up to begin the fabrication of handwashing units and the development and dissemination of training protocols.

In a selected prefecture of the Maritime Region, we will be building hand-washing units and preparing to deploy our team of about a dozen people.  These are all professionals who conducted the major part of our countrywide assessment.  They are all deeply committed to their country and honored to play a part in our work.  They are educated and trained in health and hygiene, and we are developing and disseminating the training protocol.

We will regularly update this page with new information.

Please contribute to this urgent program to the greatest extent possible by contributing to our Water for Everyone – Togo using this link.

Lesfello Latrine Project – Senegal

Lesfello Latrine Project – Senegal

Lesfello Latrine Project – Senegal

Location
Lesfello, Kédougou, Senegal

Community Description
Lesfello in Kédougou is located about 400 miles southeast of Dakar, the country’s capital. The community has a population of 700 and continues to grow rapidly.

Problem Addressed
As the population of the village increases, access to clean water and sanitation facilities are essential to reduce the amount of waterborne and hygiene-related diseases. Currently, one compound out of 57 owns a pit latrine, which means most of the population defecates in the forest, near rivers and streams, contaminating drinking water.

Project Description
This project is to improve water, sanitation, and health standards by building 20 pit latrines.

Two-meter-deep holes will be dug by the recipients. Platforms will be built of concrete and rebar by trained masons and placed over the holes. The families will be responsible for the privacy enclosures.

Water Charity is participating in the project in cooperation with the Peace Corps Partnership Program, with substantial participation by the community. Water Charity funds will be used for materials, including cement and rebar, as well as to pay for the labor of skilled masons.

Upon completion, the volunteer will collaborate with La Lumiere Kedougou, to follow up with a hand washing demonstration, latrine maintenance, and continued use.

Project Impact
200 people will benefit from the project.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Jamie Trombley

Comments
Increasing hygienic capacity by providing sanitation facilities will decrease the number of contaminants leaching into groundwater and nearby streams, decrease the number of disease vectors, and improve overall water quality and the environmental health conditions of the village.

Dollar Amount of Project
$530.00

Donations Collected to Date
$530.00

Any contributions in excess of the Dollar Amount of the Project will be allocated to other projects directed by this PCV and/or projects of other PCVs in this country.

Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 – This project has been fully funded through the generosity of Canterbury Girls’ Secondary College, Canterbury, Victoria, Australia.